The National Assembly, the lower house of Pakistan’s parliament, was dissolved by the country’s president Arif Alvi on August 9. Following the dissolution of the National Assembly, the caretaker government was announced on August 12 to pave the way for general elections under a neutral caretaker government.
According to Pakistan’s constitution, general elections must be held within 90 days if the National Assembly is dissolved before the end of its term. That is, according to the rules, the country is supposed to hold elections next November.
However, due to constitutional, political, and economic crises, there is uncertainty about the date of general elections in the country. Al-Jazeera tried to find out what could happen in the country in the next few months, including the current situation in Pakistan. The name of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Anwarul Haque Kakar has been announced as the head of Pakistan’s caretaker government. The country’s outgoing Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and outgoing Leader of the National Assembly Raja Riaz announced Kakar’s name yesterday.
BAP helped Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) form a coalition government after the 2018 elections. However, they withdrew the support in late March last year. Imran’s government lost power in a no-confidence vote by the opposition in April last year. BAP supported Imran’s opponents in this no-confidence vote.
Kakar is a little-known senator from Balochistan, Pakistan’s least populated province. Pakistan’s next national elections will be held under his caretaker government. He is responsible for forming the cabinet of the caretaker government.
Will the election be delayed?
But the outgoing government approved a new census towards the end of its tenure. As a result, the Election Commission has to determine the new electoral boundaries.
According to a former commission official, drawing new boundaries for hundreds of federal and provincial constituencies could take at least six months or more. The Election Commission has to announce the exact time it will take to complete the work. There may also be litigation regarding the new formation of constituencies. The date of national elections should be given taking these matters into consideration.
What is the role of the military?
Behind the scenes in Pakistan, the country’s military plays a huge role. Pakistan state is 76 years old. For more than three decades, the military held direct power in the nation. The military also has a large influence on the country’s politics.
Political analysts fear that if the caretaker government’s tenure is extended beyond its constitutional term, then Pakistan will be in a situation of running without an elected government for a long time. This will provide an opportunity for Pakistan’s powerful military to further consolidate its control.
There are three main contenders to form the next government in Pakistan. These are Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League, Nawaz (PML-N), and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran was recently sentenced to three years in prison in the Toshakhana corruption case. After the sentence was announced, Imran was arrested and sent to jail. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declared Imran ineligible for five years after this sentence. PTI is hoping that the anger and sympathy generated by this incident will be useful in the polls.
Who are the main competitors?
PTI believes that the victory of the party in the 2018 elections will be repeated this time. However, the PTI has a bitter relationship with the country’s military. As a result, the party’s prospects will depend on ending PTI’s rivalry with the generals. But so far it seems impossible for such a thing to happen.
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif. He is a three-time Prime Minister of Pakistan. His younger brother Shahbaz. PML-N is the main partner in the outgoing coalition government led by him. Nawaz has been in self-imposed exile in London for a long time. He wants to return home from exile. However, the sentence of the corruption case against him in the country is upheld. As a result, Shahbaz is ahead in the possibility of returning to power.
PPP’s young chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (34). He is the prodigal son of Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister. He is the foreign minister of the outgoing coalition government. While performing this duty, he was discussed at home and abroad. He is considered the future prime minister.
Kistan is going through a major economic crisis. Recently the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a loan of 3 billion or 3 billion US dollars for Pakistan in economic recovery (bailout). One of Pakistan’s major challenges today is economic stability.
Another major crisis in Pakistan today is political uncertainty. The country’s political uncertainty has intensified especially after Imran was sentenced to prison and banned from elections. He was arrested for the first time last May. Then there was widespread violence across the country. But this time there was no violence. But by keeping him in jail, his credibility will be questioned if he is elected without him.
If national elections are delayed in Pakistan, constitutional and legal questions will come to the fore. The nation’s Supreme Court has a history of taking proactive steps to address constitutional questions.
The election campaign is going on in Kistan. The National Assembly of the country’s parliament has been dissolved prematurely. Following this, the name of the Caretaker Prime Minister has been announced.
Outgoing Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and outgoing Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Raja Riaz sent messages advising President Arif Alvi to appoint Anwarul Haque as the head of the caretaker government, according to a press release from Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s Office. After some time, the President agreed to the appointment of Anwarul Haque in accordance with Article 224 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
The National Assembly of Pakistan was dissolved on August 9. After that, the process of electing the head of the caretaker government started as per the constitution. On August 10, Shahbaz and Raja Riaz sat for the first discussion on the matter.